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Sheena S. Iyengar (born November 29, 1969) is the inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business in the Management Division at Columbia Business School.[1] She is one of the world's experts on choice. Her research focuses on: why people want choice, what affects how and what we choose, and how we can improve our decision-making outcomes.[2]

Sheena Iyengar
Sheena Iyengar.jpg
Born Sheena Sethi
(1969-11-29) November 29, 1969 (age 48)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality American
Alma mater Stanford University
University of Pennsylvania
Occupation S.T. Lee Professor of Business
Employer Columbia Business School
Known for Academic research on Choice


Early life and educationEdit

Sheena Iyengar was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[3] Her parents were both Sikh immigrants from Delhi, India. As a child, she was diagnosed with a rare form of retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disease of retinal degeneration. By the age of 10, she could no longer read and write. By the age of 16, she needed the help of a seeing eye dog. Today, she is completely blind and relies on a cane to get around.[3]

Despite the difficulties posed by her blindness, Iyengar pursued higher education. In 1992, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School and a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in English from the College of Arts and Sciences. She then earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University in 1997.[1] The following year, her dissertation "Choice and its Discontents" received the prestigious Best Dissertation Award for 1998 from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology.[2][4]

Academic careerEdit

Sheena Iyengar

Sheena Iyengar's first faculty appointment was at the Sloan School of Management at MIT from July 1997 to June 1998, where she taught Managerial Decision Making and Research Methods. In 1998, Iyengar joined the faculty at the Columbia Business School.[2] Her principal line of research concerns the psychology of choice, and she has been studying how people perceive and respond to choice for over two decades.[5][6][7][8] This work has earned her much recognition (in 2002, she was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Social Scientists for her studies on cultural differences in decision making) and has also attracted attention in popular media. Her research has been cited in such periodicals as Fortune and Time magazines, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as on television programs such as The Today Show and The Daily Show. Her award-winning book, The Art of Choosing, which explores the mysteries of choice in everyday life, was listed in’s top ten books in Business & Investing of 2010 and shortlisted for the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.[2]

In 2011, Iyengar was named a member of the Thinkers50, a global ranking of the top 50 management thinkers.[2] She was recently awarded the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Core Teaching from Columbia Business School.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b cz. "Sheena S. Iyengar – Columbia Business School Directory". 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Sheena S. Iyengar". 
  3. ^ a b Iyengar, Sheena (2010). The Art of Choosing. Twelve. ISBN 0-446-50410-6
  4. ^ a b "Sheena Iyengar". 
  5. ^ Iyengar, S. S., & DeVoe, S.E. (2003). Rethinking the Value of Choice: A Cultural Perspective on Intrinsic Motivation. In Murphy-Berman, V. & Berman, J. (Eds.). Cross-Cultural Differences in Perspectives on the Self, 49, 129-174. London: University of Nebraska Press.
  6. ^ Iyengar, S. S., & Lepper, M. (2000). When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 995-1006.
  7. ^ Botti, S., Orfali, K., & Iyengar, S.S. (2009). Tragic Choices: Autonomy and Emotional Response to Medical Decisions. Journal of Consumer Research, 36 (3), 337-352.
  8. ^ Iyengar, S.S., Wells, R.E., & Schwartz, B. (2006). Doing Better but Feeling Worse: Looking for the "Best" Job Undermines Satisfaction. Psychological Science, 17 (2), 143-150.

External linksEdit